85-year-old man who strangled sick wife to ‘put her out of her misery’ gets 2 1/2 years in prison


An 85-year-old man who was arrested for killing his bedridden 78-year-old wife at their home in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, in February, has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

The Utsunomiya District Court handed down its verdict against Tokuji Imai, Fuji TV reported on Friday. Imai admitted to strangling his wife Akie to death with a towel at around 10 a.m. on Feb 7. He told police he quickly wanted to put his suffering wife out of her misery, the court heard.

A home care worker visited the Imai residence at 8:30 a.m. on Feb 8 and found Akie dead in her bed. Imai wasn’t home at the time and was found walking in a nearby parking lot by police. He had left a note at home in which he said he had killed his wife.  

Due to an illness, Akie was left paralyzed on one side of her body, had a speech impediment, and was bedridden.

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I have zero sympathies, this was murder.

Strangling someone to death is hardly a quick and 'humane' method of ending a life.

Two and a half years is a mockery of the system.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Oldman - 2 1/2 years in prison for an 85 year old is probably life. I agree with you about the inhumanity of strangling. On the other hand I am wondering how lucid the 85 year old was.

Tough situation

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Of course one cannot condone his actions, but it does show clearly his desperation and many more like him who are stuck as full time carers for their ailing spouse, parent or parent-in-law. This scenario of carers killing their loved one is very common in Japan but, as usual, the government is doing absolutely nothing about the aged care crisis in Japan. This disaster is only going to get worse as the population ages. Hospitals are already struggling to cope with the large amount of elderly patients. The private care companies are struggling to stay in business because many old people have no money and the companies receive no subsidies from their stingy government.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not a suspended sentence? that's right out of the box, he obviously was just a guy with no family connections or company affiliated. You can actually kill someone if you are a company boss and get a suspended sentence. Bizarre.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What I'd like to know is if the wife expressed any will to die. We'll never know now.

As Disillusioned said, it poses the problem of lack of elderly care.

Strangling someone to death is hardly a quick and 'humane' method of ending a life.

Well, without resistance, it takes only a few seconds before losing consciousness, so it beats stabbing or beating by a long shot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bintaro, I have to disagree strangling someone does take effort, where as micking plaster of Paris into meat balls will do the same thing with no physical exertion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The elderly in this country have to pay high health insurance plus hospital fees. My friend and her husband are both working in their 70’s they pay 70 thousand yen a month, their food budget fail is 1,000 yen for both and they live life on the edge each day.

So before condemning this poor man consider not only his wife’s dire health issues but also his mental suffering on all aspects of life including financially.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ashley Shiba

There is something wrong with the figures you posted. In their 70's so have been receiving state pensions since 65 years and company pension if they worked for one. You say they are still working so also receiving wages for that. But then you say they pay ¥70,000 for health insurance and hospital visits. Leaving them ¥1000 per day for food. You don't mention utilities?

I question the ¥70,000. Over 70 years the hospital payment is 10%. They will also be paying a small monthly fee for the time they need home help care or to live in care home. That amount is deducted from their pensions.

They are not paying ¥70,000 for health insurance which goes down for over 70 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


I have zero sympathies, this was murder.

Yes, and we, as a society, you included are responsible for it, by failing to offer the proper support to this couple when they needed it more, after a life of working and paying taxes.. So yeah, think a bit about this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thats a bit rich, Ebisen. There is close to nothing that I could have done. Maybe you know more about oldman than I do.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Edit: absolutely nothing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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